In a new USA Today piece focusing on the great year Michael Bay is having given the films he's produced -- The Purge: Anarchy and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles -- and directed (Transformers: Age of Extinction) and his new television show on TNT ("The Last Ship") and at the very end it says he "believes he will pass the baton for future Transformers movies to a new director while he turns his focus elsewhere."
"There's kind of a new chapter, a new direction in movies I want to make," Bay told USA Today, which adds that he is eying a passion project, a documentary on elephant poaching. "I have a lot of stories to tell. And it's about flexing new muscles," Bay added.
Bay's Platinum Dunes will also be releasing Ouija later this year and Project Almanac next year along with an undisclosed new television show next year, but to think of Transformers without him at the helm is to wonder who would pick up the mantle.
The obvious choice is Jonathan Liebesman who just directed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for Bay's Platinum Dunes and previously directed The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning for the production company. Liebesman has a similar eye for cartoonish destruction and would serve as almost a seamless transition, though I do wonder if he has a similar penchant for American flags, something of a prerequisite for the Transformers films now.
As of now Transformers 5 doesn't have a release date, but Ehren Kruger is back writing the script.